It looks like fans of the Tennessee Smokies might have to wait until 2021 to see their favorite team in action again.
The Tennessee Smokies announced last week that there will not be a 2020 Minor League Baseball season.
The announcement cites the health and safety of fans, players and staff in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis.
“The health and safety of our fans, players and staff members is our top priority. We look forward to creating more memories that last a lifetime at Smokies Stadium,” reads a statement on the Tennessee Smokies Twitter page.
Minor League Baseball announced today that there will not be a 2020 Minor League Baseball season. The health and safety of our fans, players and staff members is our top priority. We look forward to creating more memories that last a lifetime at Smokies Stadium. pic.twitter.com/h1awiSHtqV
— Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball) June 30, 2020
However, the show must go on for the Major Leagues. Major League Baseball is set to begin on July 23 with heightened health and safety procedures in place.
The Tennessee Smokies Baseball team is a Double A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Smokies Stadium is located in Kodak near Interstate Exit 407.
Other Smokies Baseball Event Cancellations
This announcement comes on the heels of many other recent cancellation notices by Tennessee Smokies Baseball team. Other cancelled events include:
- Tennessee Smokies Beerfest 2020 (originally scheduled for Aug. 15)
- Great Smoky Mountain Autofest Motorama (originally scheduled for Oct. 17-18)
The Tennessee Smokies Beerfest would have taken place at Smokies Stadium and was set to feature over 30 local breweries, beer tastings, awards, music and food. This dog-friendly event would have been sponsored by Young-Williams Animal Shelter.
The Great Smoky Mountain Autofest was also meant to be held at Smokies Stadium in partnership with The Diner Rats Car Club.
Are the Tennessee Smokies Moving to Knoxville?
Rumors have been flying over the course of the past couple of years about the possibility of the Tennessee Smokies baseball team moving to Knoxville.
And it appears there may be some validity to these rumors.
The Tennessee Smokies are currently playing under a lease that runs through 2025 at their current location at Smokies Park in Kodak.
It was recently confirmed by WBIR that Knoxville city officials are in early discussions with Boyd Sports, the owner of Smokies Baseball about a new downtown ballpark.
The new ballpark would be part of a larger mixed-use development near Knoxville’s Old City neighborhood.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Smokies called Knoxville home. The Smokies originally played in Knoxville from 1954-1999, so a potential move would be a bit of a homecoming for this popular baseball team.
“I think there’s been a sense that Knoxville misses minor league ball in the city,” said Knoxville Chief Policy Offer Bill Lyons in an interview with WBIR.
However, these discussions are still extremely preliminary and no firm plans have been made to move the team at this time.
We would imagine it’s safe to say for now, the team is mostly focused on whether or not there will be a season 2021 at all, and finding a new normal during these troubling times.
Visit The Smokies Baseball website for more information about The Tennessee Smokies Baseball team, ticket sales, game schedules and player statistics.